Onkyo's latest pair of network-enabled A/V receivers have been outed, the TX-NR5008 and TX-NR3008, complete with eight HDMI 1.4a inputs, THX Ultra2 Plus certification, network audio streaming, multi-room and 3D support, and 1080p HD upscaling. As well as Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD Master Audio support, the 9.2-channel Onkyo pair also work with Audyssey DSX or Dolby Pro Logic IIz, for boosted height or width channels. Meanwhile there's Pandora, Rhapsody, Napster, Slacker and other streaming radio, via the ethernet port, together with DLNA 1.5 for funnelling content within the home.
Panasonic have announced their first "full wireless" 3D audio system, the Panasonic SC-ZT2, promising Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD 7.1-channel surround-sound with only two speakers. Each slender speaker houses four one-inch tweeters together with an integrated long-stroke woofer; they all point down, reflecting sound off of the floor so as to mimic a regular surround-sound setup. Meanwhile there are also two new surround bar speaker systems, the SC-HTB10 and SC-HTB500.
Onkyo have outed a trio of new A/V receivers, complete with THX certification and all 3D-capable. The Onkyo TX-NR1008, TX-NR808, and TX-NR708 each have an ethernet port for internet and home network connectivity, including DLNA streaming, and they also support Dolby® Pro Logic IIz and Audyssey DSX, the former offering extra height channels for improved ambience, the latter adding either height or width channels.
As well as Denon's pair of new "universal" Blu-ray players, the company also has a double-handful of A/V receivers to announce too. The Denon AVR-991, AVR-891, AVR-791, AVR-591 and the AVR-391 are all "home theater" models and will begin to show up on shelves from May 2010, while there are two new 7.1-channel premium models, the AVR-1911 and AVR-1611, and three "CI-class" receivers for custom integrators, the AVR-4311CI, AVR-3311CI and AVR-2311CI. All get HDMI v1.4a Repeater Inputs with 3D (supporting all mandated formats), an Audio Return Channel and CEC (Consumer Electronics Control) support, while some pack multi-room audio and HD audio from Dolby and DTS.
When your company is called Psyko Audio Labs then we guess you have to fill your press release with threatening phrases like "Psyko ushers in the dawn of audio as a weapon", but frankly we'd be happy if the distinctive Psyko 5.1 PC Gaming Headset System sounds as good as they promise. The magic, they reckon, is in the five speakers integrated into the headband - front left, center, front right, rear left and rear right - together with a subwoofer in each earphone, which basically create a miniature surround sound gaming environment around your head.
Video demo after the cut
Sony have announced three new home audio systems, with two soundbars for the cable-phobic and a 5.1 surround setup for those slightly more ambitious. The Sony HT-SF470 is a 3D-capable 1000 watt (157W x 5 +167W sub) system with three HDMI inputs and an HDMI pass-through port, together with BRAVIA Sync, a Digital Media Port for use with an optional iPod cradle, two digital audio inputs (coax and optical) and digital cinema auto calibration for straightforward setup.
The will-they, won't-they rumors surrounding HTC's tipped tablet project are now officially more convoluted than Ross and Rachel from Friends, and just as we'd got used to the idea that it had all been an experiment subsequently abandoned there's now conflicting word from HTC in South Africa. At the recent launch of the Legend, Desire and Smart there, local MD Quinton Leigh apparently told PhoneReport that the company was working on an Android-based tablet.
It's not just a new range of 3D DLP HDTVs Mitsubishi want to tell us about; the company also have a somewhat more affordable new line-up of sets in their 2010 Unisen Immersive Sound range. The 40- to 55-inch HDTVs in the new 154 Series, 164 Series and 265 Series each have edge-lit LED backlighting, 120Hz picture, a 16-speaker sound bar and StreamTV for internet-connected Vudu, Flickr, Pandora, Facebook, Twitter and other widgets.
Dolby have announced Dolby Surround 7.1, an 8-channel surround sound audio system that's intended to better support both traditional 2D and newer 3D content. Integral to the new system is the introduction of two new audio zones - Back Surround Left and Back Surround Right - which, in tandem with the existing front two zones, should make for more impressive 360-degree surround effects.
There's no doubt that the video game industry is one of the most profitable in the world. There are titles out there that have made more money than blockbuster movies, and this is not a trend that looks like it will be stopping any time soon. And one of the biggest proponents of those games, is the online multiplayer that comes along with it. Being able to yell at someone hundreds, if not sometimes thousands of miles away from you is great. But, what if it could be better?
We can still remember the days when you needed a whole bunch of wires, strung up along the wall or hidden beneath the carpet, and speakers placed methodically throughout a living room or bedroom, to recreate that beautiful surround sound experience we all love so much in theaters. Over years that's changed in one way or another, and even more recently these sound bars, a single bar with set speakers within them, seem to be taking up all the attention. Of course, it doesn't hurt that they usually look like something from the future.